5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Gap Year Abroad
Everyone needs a break. Whether you are a high school student aspiring to get admission in an Ivy League University or a graduating student who's about to step into the '9 to 5 Phase' of life - you need to pause for some time, explore beyond your known circle, get accustomed to the unknown and find out what exactly you wish to do in life.
It's the time when you can focus on your passion and develop your skills for a better future.
Taking a gap year would be exciting and it's undoubtedly a bold decision to step out of the comfort zone. But it also involves a lot of research and planning, so that the time you invest isn't wasted.
Here are 5 important questions that you should ask yourself before taking a gap year abroad.
#1 Am I really ready for this?
Deciding to take a gap year isn't enough, you need to know whether you are ready for it or not. Take your time, browse the internet, know what all can be done and check what kind of a break you are looking for. Make sure that you are ready to embark on this, alone. There's a charm in traveling solo, but you'll only get to experience it when you are confident about yourself. You must ensure that you are prepared for the unknown journey ahead, and believe in the fact that everything will fall in place. And even if it doesn't, you'll still end up learning something new!
#2 Can I afford to travel abroad?
Before you make any further plans, it is essential to know whether you can afford it or not. Traveling abroad will need sufficient amount (which include your flight tickets, Visa, lodging cost, meals, and other miscellaneous costs) and you should have that much money at your dispense. Be sure of the fact that you don’t feel like a beggar while you are in a distant land! However, you must also know that there are several ways to keep costs down while traveling the world. For example, staying with a host family, Couchsurfing or finding a bunk bed in a hostel can allow you to cut down on your accommodation costs. You can also find some work around the world such as teaching others to speak your native language that can allow you to travel comfortably and might also help you to earn a few bucks.
#3 Do I know what I’d want to do on a gap year?
You can easily waste your time binge-watching those series on Netflix, but are they really worth it? Guess not! If you are still not sure about what you want to do during this phase, then find out the reasons. Know why you should take a gap year abroad and figure out how you can make the most of your skills and passion during this time. Just traveling to a different country is guaranteed to change your life, yet you should take the time out to think about ways that can enrich your entire experience. You can opt for a Language Course, learn surfing, teach English at the local school, attend some cookery classes, or simply get engaged in some volunteering projects to make some effective contribution towards your host community. Consider the impact that you wish to make in the lives of others as well as the things that you wish to learn - and that, eventually, will help you to figure out what you want to do on a gap year.
#4 Will a gap year affect my future career?
It takes courage to hop on a plane while your friends are either getting admission in top colleges or accepting job offers. Before you make up your mind, know that it's not just about traveling abroad. There's a bigger goal attached to it. Your adventurous and fun-filled gap year journey will leave an immense impact on your career ahead. During your gap year, you can engage yourself in different kinds of short-term works where you can polish your existing knowledge as well as acquire more skills. You'll meet people from different parts of the world, and who knows, you might just get employed abroad! Rest assured, traveling the world will give you enough confidence and adequate leadership skills that are essential for every career field.
#5 Should I opt for an organized program or just set out randomly?
Considering the fact that this is your first solo international trip, setting out randomly wouldn't be a good idea. Long-term traveling involves a lot of planning and coordination, and often, one mistake can mess everything up for you! Rather, it's better to choose a gap year program with a trusted organization and focus more on your learning and self-growth, rather than worrying about your stay, food, and transportation.
Go Discover Abroad has some amazingly designed tours and programs for all the adventure seekers and enthusiastic learners who are keen on exploring beyond the borders.
As you'll keep exploring more with each passing day, we'll ensure that you can get engaged in meaningful work and end up utilizing your gap year in the most effective manner.
Now that you know what to ask yourself, find out the answers and clear all your doubts. Be calm while making your decisions regarding what you wish to do during your gap year, and set yourself on the right path for success by carefully channelizing your options. While your peers will choose to have a secured option of either studying or getting a job, your risks will pay off amazingly.
Live your life and experience the best that it has to offer - and you shall have no regrets!
P.S - If there's anything else that's bugging you while planning your gap year, you can drop your question in the comment section below.